Darrera modificació: 2021-09-08
Bases de dades: Sciència.cat
Katz, Melissa R., "Preventative medicine: Josse Lieferinxe's retable altar of St. Sebastian as a defense against plague in 15th century Provence", InterFaces: Image, Texte, Language, 26 (2006 - 2007), 59-82.
- Within medical history, mention of the plague in Marseilles calls to mind the menacing pandemic of 1720-22, the last widespread occurrence of the bubonic plague in Europe , commemorated in Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year. Yet, between this final outbreak and the initial appearance of the Black Death of 1347-51—the calamitous return of a disease not seen in Western Europe since antiquity—lay four centuries of recurring episodes of epidemic disease that left the population in a continuous state of affliction, anticipation, or recovery from communal contagion. A reoccurrence in late 15th-century Provence threatened mortality at a level not seen since the mid-14th century, and prompted the adaptation of a series of civic measures, religious rituals, and cultural expressions designed in response to the outbreak of infectious disease. This paper examines a confraternal altarpiece dedicated to St. Sebastian as a distinctive iconographical representation of the culture of affliction, adversity, and destitution. Created by Josse Lieferinxe (alias the Master of St. Sebastian) between 1497-99 for the church of Notre-Dame-des-Accoules in Marseilles , the Retable Altar of Saint Sebastian depicts multiple acts of healing in a conscious display of therapeutic art and practice. By examining the medical, civic, and spiritual milieu of the region of Provence in the last quarter of the 15th century, I am able to support an apotropaic reading of this altarpiece dedicated to the patron saint most frequently invoked as an intercessor against the plague. To establish the state of mind of the citizens of Marseilles at the time of the paintings' commission, I have assessed the statistical incidents of plague in Provence , local access to medical care, civic legislation related to disease prevention, and the frequency of church and chapel dedications to Sebastian, the plague saint. Thus, I have been able to demonstrate that while pestilence was rampant in Provence during the 1490s, no episodes of plague had yet to be reported in Marseilles at the time a local lay confraternity commissioned this altarpiece to St. Sebastian, nor would any be reported for another eightyears. Communal responses to plague have been characterized as medical, political, and religious; to this I would add the notion of an artistic response. The faith of the confraternity members in the thaumaturgic saint and their belief in the apotropaic purpose of art in this case seem to have been well placed. Their investment of charitable funds and devotional energies in the building of a chapel and installation of a retable altarpiece whose program explicitly references the bubonic plague coincided with an abatement of pestilence in their immediate vicinity. The psychological prominence of the commission, in which illness and affliction are palpably presented to a congregation anticipating but not yet experiencing a spreading epidemic, speaks eloquently of the search for spiritual and physical healing, and the consoling—and perhaps defensive—powers of art.
- Religió - Hagiografia
Màgia - Màgia mèdica i protectora
Història de l'art
- https://www.academia.edu/341344/_Preventative_Medic ...